Monday, 13 July 2015

They're back......!

In the "Big Freeze" of February 2012, we had overnight temperatures of less than minus 18 degrees Centigrade for around a week...
one morning we awoke to -21°C....
in fact, during that week the temperature never rose above -6°C.

It killed all our overwintering vegetables...
and it killed wildlife, lots of wildlife....
amongst them our Wasp Spiders <i>Argiope bruennichi</i>.

There were none to be seen in 2013 either...
nor in 2014! We'd effectively lost a species from the meadow.
Our meadow is an island in a sea of agriculture...
there are no natural corridors for things like the larger spiders....
except where the trees happen to touch.
The little spiders parachute in on silk.

At the lake end, the ground is kept mown, either by machine or sheep...
I felt that we'd never have this rather magnificent spider back.
Then Susan, of "Days on the Claise"....
when I went to mow her verger with Betsy....
happened to mention that there were plenty in the long vegetation...
so I "spidernapped" four large females....
and released them in one small area of our meadow.

Sunday evening I was having a walk around and....
as I had done on previous occasions....
paid special attention to where I had released the kidnapped madames...
and, hey....
there were six webs visible from the path...
including one occupied by a male.

A male Wasp Spider...
much smaller and less highly marked than the dame!

A female wasp Spider....
highly marked...
yet difficult to find!


They're back... they're back... the Argie-Bargies are back!
Hopefully Susan will allow me to do a further spidernap later this year.


Posted by Tim

1 comment:

Amelia Frenchgarden said...

I can see why it is called a wasp spider. I note the problem of the commercial bees. There are so many including a new hive beetle that has got as far as Italy. Poor bees. Amelia